Questions and answers on COVID-19: Current situation in the EU

1. What is the situation in Europe at the moment?

COVID-19 situation update for the EU/EEA, as of 17 September 2021

Weekly COVID-19 country overview

2. How are countries in the EU/EEA responding to COVID-19?

All countries in the EU have responded to the situation by implementing a comprehensive package of measures, including

  • surveillance
  • testing
  • increased hospital and isolation capacity
  • contact tracing
  • case management and strategies to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, such as promoting basic hand and cough hygiene measures
  • physical distancing measures
  • vaccination.

See a subsection on “National public health response measure” under each EU/EEA country in the ECDC COVID-19 country overviews for details of the response measures taken by each Member State.

A database by the ECDC and JRC with all measures implemented in each EU/EEA country to control the pandemic is available.

3. What is the EU doing? 

ECDC is in continuous contact with the European Commission, the World Health Organization (WHO), national public health institutes in the EU/EEA countries, and other institutions to ensure an ongoing assessment of the epidemiological situation and to exchange experiences and good practices. 

To inform the European Commission and the public health authorities in Member States, ECDC continuously assesses the risk for EU citizens and publishes weekly comprehensive updates. ECDC and WHO develop technical guidance to support countries in their response and are carrying out joint surveillance of COVID-19 cases. The European Commission is ensuring the coordination of risk management activities at EU level.

ECDC has been supporting EU Member States and the European Commission throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by providing the scientific background necessary to help Member States take complex decisions in these unprecedented times. To tackle the emergence of virus variants, ECDC has been supporting Member States by providing virus genome sequencing services upon request and investing in sequencing capacity developments throughout the EU/EEA.

ECDC has provided standard protocols for surveillance and testing approaches to Member States. Through its Epidemic Intelligence work, the Centre has been collecting comprehensive daily epidemiological data on COVID-19 worldwide.

As the pandemic evolves, ECDC continues to summarise the best available evidence and is regularly updating its risk assessments and technical guidance documents on the basis of emerging evidence, thus making new scientific information accessible to the European Commission, EU Member States and the public. ECDC’s support to Member States also includes guidance provided remotely via video- or teleconferences, webinars, trainings and exchanges on technical documents.

COVID-19 situation update for the EU/EEA, as of 17 September 2021

COVID-19 situation update worldwide, as of week 36, updated 16 September 2021

4. Am I at risk of contracting COVID-19 infection in the EU/EEA?

ECDC is continuously evaluating the infectious risk for EU/EEA citizens and updating the risk assessment accordingly. As SARS-CoV-2 is a new virus, and both natural and vaccine-induced immunity may partially wane, most people are still at risk of infection.

You can find the latest information in our weekly situation updates and regular risk assessments.

Rapid Risk Assessment: COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities in the EU/EEA in the context of current vaccination coverage, 26 July 2021

COVID-19 situation update for the EU/EEA, as of 17 September 2021

COVID-19 situation update worldwide, as of week 36, updated 16 September 2021

Weekly surveillance report on COVID-19

Weekly COVID-19 country overview

Maps in support of the Council Recommendation on a coordinated approach to travel measures in the EU

5. When can we return to normal?

The most important element to significantly minimise the impact of COVID-19 is to vaccinate a high amount of eligible people, which will allow social and personal activities to return to ‘normal’.

Until this very high vaccine coverage is achieved, it is essential to follow public health measures, particularly in response to circulating and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

6. Where can I learn more about the situation and the guidelines from my country?

All EU/EEA countries have dedicated websites with information for the public on COVID-19 and on the national situation.

Consult the website of your national authorities to receive advice tailored to your specific national context. 

External resources on COVID-19